tv [untitled] December 4, 2012 5:30am-6:00am PST
do an e-i-r. give me a break. and the housing element of 2004, again, no e-i-r. it was a negative declaration. the department really has to be watched. san francisco is only 47 square miles and we need the strongest c-e-q-a laws that could be in existence. we can't lower it to the state level. this is crucial. we live in a dense area and here people are just trying to cut back public debate, public opportunities for appeal. it's almost as though the lobbyists were allowed to write this. you heard some of the
developers here -- one developer. you know, for them it's great. for the rest of us, terrible, unbelievable. supervisor peskin says he can't understand what the problem is. he says tens of thousands of c-e-q-a determinations are being made every year and only a couple dozens are appealed. that's a small price to pay to try to save our environment, our quality of life. it's far more important than developers or speculators getting their profits. thank you. good afternoon. my name is genie kwok. the proposed changes to san francisco's c-e-q-a procedures have many problems such as
incomprehensible appeals deadlines and a five-acre exemption [speaker not understood]. it is on a 20-acre campus. the focus of my talking to you today would be to ask you to please protect the people's input and not allow the proposed changes that decrease opportunities for san franciscans to provide input and influence on projects prior to construction. the proposed shortened time period for appeals and in put provide insufficient time for neighbors to help each other think through the issues and regulations and respond accordingly. while complicated, san franciscans are willing to study the issues and want to provide input. such citizen participation takes time and should be encouraged. i have a picture here and i'm sorry it's small, but i think your machine can make it look bigger. thank you so much. this is to me an example of
insufficient citizen input. pictured here are 17 monstrous black baseball field poles in my neighborhood. the 17 poles are 70 feet tall, 16 inches in diameter, and stretch between the poles are black nets partially blocking sky and sky land and line. i endorsed the need to prevent base balls from hitting people, home windows and cars. but after many years of looking at the tall poles in many parts of the bay area, california, and this wonderful democratic united states of america, i think they are unnecessarily wide. to my knowledge, there was insufficient opportunity for residents to have input on the placement of these monstrous poles. so, please recommend to the board of supervisors that the san francisco planning commission disapproves this proposed legislation. i have my remarks in letter form.
may i please give it to you? thank you. >> thank you. good afternoon. my name is dr. espinola jackson and i'm here representing the black leadership rights of san francisco. i'd like to say i'm requesting that you reject wiener's project. you know, four of you i know, and we came here before this body many times talking about bayview hunters point and the shipyard. but because of politics, developments, you didn't listen. three of you listened and voted with us. the rest voted against us and we had to file an appeal
because of c-e-q-a. and guess what? we won. because the job wasn't done the way it was supposed to be done. even now a supervisor can come before you and support an issue like in my community, and you know what you did? you rezoned because it what slated rezoning 44 53rd street, you without even know when you came about rezoning for a wellness center, you was rezoning 17 other blocks and the politics in that, you know what it is? it's a group -- and i can't think of the name of the hospital -- that wants to come into bayview hunters point on those 17 blocks because you u.c. is in the mission -- what's that missionary there? mission bay, that's it, thank you. you see, you all shouldn't be,
not knowingly, when the community comes before you they are giving you the truth. when these supervisors and these developers come before you, they are not. so, i'm asking you, please, because i've got 57 more seconds, to throw this thing out and sit down with the people, those of us that are taxpayers and been taxpayers and homeowners, and listen to those of us that care, really care about san francisco. even the next two years there will not be no development over there at the shipyard because it is toxic, too toxic for anything to happen. so, please listen to what the residents are saying because we love san francisco. i've been a resident for 69 years. so, don't take it away from me. how are you doing, sweetheart? it's good to see you. [laughter]
>> she was talking to you. (applause) >> yes. good evening, commissioners. eric brooks here representing san francisco green party and the local grassroots organization our city. so, first i want to just repeat and pick up where sister jackson left off, sister and dr. jackson, i hope that's adequate. that, you know, if you're going to write legislation to change c-e-q-a, you need to get the public and the people that are being affected by the changes you're making in c-e-q-a access at the table first before you write the legislation. the last two planning commission hearings, we had stakeholder meetings down in the basement each time. over 20 different people from several different groups from all across the spectrum. none of us were contacted before this legislation was
drafted, zero. that is just an unacceptable public process. so, this -- and now i want to get to something, a detail that no one's raised yet, and that is that the proponents of this and staffers saying, well, this cod identifies a -- codifies a lot of things that staff is already doing, puts it into law. those of us who have been fighting bad projects for decades now would say to you that we do not want those practices codified because every year our access to this process gets worse because of those ad hoc procedures. * so, do we think c-e-q-a process should be improved? you bet. though it needs to be improved next year after the state made its determinations and after every single group that's being affected by this is brought to the table to help design the legislation so that it helps everybody in the city, not just
developers and those that they want to influence for elected office. and i want to end with just getting to the basic -- the basic meta point here. you've gotten lots of documents and you've heard lots of comments about the specific problems with this legislation and they are myriad. this thing is a mine field of attacks on public process. but i don't want to get into that. i want to get into the fact that the primary reason for this legislation that's being brought up is actually just structurally doesn't make logical sense and it's not good for process. and this is the idea that one agency can trigger c-e-q-a at the very beginning with one approval like a site approval. with all -- with many different approvals of projects that have come before you. the project at the beginning can be one thing and at the end of the process can have changed
dramatically. i think treasure island got its first approval in 2006. cpmc halliburton gotten an approval of some time for st. lukes that would preclude us from c-e-q-a if this were law? * possibly. we need time to duke this out with the developers over months and years with them knowing the threat of a c-e-q-a challenge -- >> thank you. your time is up. -- don't go beyond environmental law in the first place. >> thank you. your time is up. thank you very much. i'll call a couple other names. kathrin howard and ms. bowen, sarah bowen. is that right? good afternoon, commissioners. you called and i am here. kathrin howard, golden gayedv preservation alliance. i want to support the concerns about the c-e-q-a legislation already stated. generally the amendments decrease the opportunities for individuals and community
groups with serious vieerthval concerns to provide input and assert influence on development projects as part of the c-e-q-a process. for example, the legislation allows any city department to very prematurely and quietly start the clock on environment review appeals by concurrently making a first minor approval of one aspect of the project while also declaring it from exempt from environmental review with only a casual final by planning staff. we are very concerned about the impact that this litigation will have on our parks and open space. there is no reason to quickly develop a park unless a certain department which shall remain nameless at this time wants to put it on a fast track to commercialization and privatization. the city departments and developers hold most of the cards for development decisions. the public is always facing a david versus goliath battle
over all land use decisions. and to keep on with my metaphors, that is one reason c-e-q-a was created to help create a more level playing field. this legislation is trying to tilt the field towards inappropriate development even more. this is such important legislation, this chamber should be packed. the halls should be packed. why aren't there more people here? because people don't know about it or they don't understand it. more time and deliberations are needed. alternative are needed. and we need a process that is inclusive of everyone. and i just want to take a minute to say that in my mind, [speaker not understood] are the people who love the cities, they love their neighborhoods and they are what has made san francisco the wonderful place it is. when you look at all the wonderful things people like about this city, the environmental protection, save the bay, the cable cars, our parks, and all those things, those are all done by nimby. that's what they would be accused of.
and i am tired of hearing this criticism. i'm a nimby and i'm proud of it. amen. (applause) >> if there are any additional speakers, if you would like to line up on that side of the room, that would be great. euronext. commissioners, sail bloom. i suspect i'm the sarah bowen. for those who know it, that's one of the nicer things i've been called lately. we're here to speak in opposition to the legislation. this is a reflection of the acknowledge our attorneys here from the hastings school and thank them for their presentation for our concern with citizens for a sustainable treasure island. [speaker not understood] reflective of a negative trend in san francisco's commitment to civic engagement we've been experiencing over the last couple of years. undoubtedly c-e-q-a can be approved. there is no question about that. but this is not the way to do
it and we used to know how to do this in a more engaging, a more empowering and a more responsible way. * the speaker mentioned earlier that c-e-q-a was an artifact of the '70s and therefore obsolete and should be done away with. but the fact of the matter is so was superfund, the clean water act, clean air act, [speaker not understood] conservation recovery act, many of the environmental laws are all artifacts of the '70s. the trend is to increase the requirements of these legislations, those to decrease and amend these legislations so they give more opportunity to pollute, more opportunity to fail to engage the public in issues that affect our health, our wealth, and our well-being. another speaker asked, who appealed the treasure island environmental impact report? well, my group, citizens for a sustainable treasure island did. and there was the comment about the radiation issue.
but there are many, many other issues that were associated with that environmental impact report that actually forced us to litigate. and we are and we're on that environmental impact report right now, several of which items are being asked to be codified through this resolution. * we are in court right now in 30 years we have brought precisely two lawsuits under c-e-q-a, about 25 years apart. the last one being the treasure island lawsuit. i fear that what this legislation does is what makes us more likely and will force our hand with regard to the litigation option because it takes away many of the protections that we appreciate and enables us to negotiate better outcomes, has enabled us to negotiate better outcomes for all of those years we found
other ways to address our concerns with the c-e-q-a process. thank you very much, commissioners. have a good day. hello. sorry, i got laryngitis. i hope you put up with me. my name is patricia love lock and i'm one of the folks who have helped ms. gallagher with her appeal at lafayette park with infamous people that are actually behind the one person who happened to sign the appeal. but there were many others, including pacific heights residents association who have understood that these issues were much more, they were led to believe by rec and park. the whole reason this came about, one of the reasons, i had gone to their meetings and i was trying to be an informed citizen about what was going on. and it frightens me to think that now you want to take away the tiny, tiny bit of notice
that people get around some of these things that are happening. at the hearing, at the meetings, we weren't told anything about a categorical exemption. we weren't told anything about historic resource. and, in fact, when i asked the question about tree cuttings, we weren't even told about that. i only was able to find out about how many trees were to be cut at a public park the week that they were starting the work. and i was persistent because i watch the birds up there. and it was orctionv after -- only after that that we started getting very concerned. over 500 people signed a petition being concerned about what was going on. this was supposedly after everybody had maybe received some notice. i was on the list to receive notice and i never received notice about a categorical exemption. additionally, we tried to get information from people. i put in calls to mr. wyco and i was told he was on vacation
for three weeks. that would have been my 20 days to put in an appeal. i tried reaching i don't know how many folks to get information about what was going on and why things were happening the way they were. well, we couldn't get anybody. we were told over and over, you cannot put in an appeal on the c-e-q-a at this time. mind you, they had not gotten any of their building permits yet because they had actually started their building work, with no permits, which is why we were then able to appeal them. and it was based on that that there were some delays. you know, it really frightens me when people want to keep the public out of information. this is not nimby. this is not our backyard. this is our tax dollars. i lived there for over 30 something years and i'd like to see it done right.
and people are concerned. rec and park would not turn over information. if we had had a 10 or 20-day limit, nothing could happen. and with the types of vacations that folks get, no offense, we can't even get hold of the people responsible to get an answer. thank you. good afternoon, my name is [speaker not understood] hawkins okari. i was literally born, literally born in the most polluted neighborhood in this city in the southeast sector. i have literally lived in that area my entire life. i'm a member of the black human
rights leadership coalition and i am in total disagreement with this legislation. good afternoon, commissioners. steve [speaker not understood] for [speaker not understood]. i'm here to speak in support of the legislation. -- that supervisor wiener has introduced. * a little bit of history. c-e-q-a was introduced at the state level in 2003, submitted in 2002 starting january 1 of 2003 requiring every c-e-q-a determination to be appealable to the legislative body of the county, in this case the board of supervisors. so, we've been ten years now with any procedures which [speaker not understood] cad ex appeals can go to a board. [speaker not understood] we're the only county in the state where every permit is discretionary and therefore every permit is subject to c-e-q-a.
so, we have thousands of discretionary decisions every year that implicate c-e-q-a. what this ordinance simply does, it doesn't cut out any appeal rights. it simply lays out a clear procedure for when appeals are to occur and how they are to occur. and secondly, it increases substantially the notice requirements. in order for these shortened appeal periods to apply, there must be enhanced noticing. so, there is no opportunity or zvi agencies such as rec, park or any agencies to take advantage of the shortened appeal periods unless they improve noticing. [speaker not understood]. the city has no ability to modify c-e-q-a. c-e-q-a is a state law. we can only do things that are consistent with c-e-q-a to fill in the gaps forsee qua as [speaker not understood] described t. you've heard a lot today about an allegation what this ordinance is trying to do is to substitute the substantial evident test for
the fair argument test. simply not true. what the fair argument test is, quote, substantial evidence to support a fair argument. it's not fair argument by itself. it's substantial evidence to support a fair argument. what the ordinance says if you're going to appeal a c-e-q-a determination, you need to provide that substantial evidence to support your fair argument. that's all it does. it's no change in the standard to review, and we can't possibly change the standard of review because that standard of review is established by the california supreme court and the legislature. another important thing that this ordinance does, it establishes a briefing schedule at the board of supervisors when there is an appeal. right now there is no schedule for how an appeal happens. someone can file an appeal with one sentence, this is what happened most recently in the case i had. one sentence appeal, there was no briefing that was done. the planning department staff had to sort of guess what the appeal was about. they spent 100 hours responding
to the appeal, wrote a 20-page brief to the board of supervisors defending the c-e-q-a document. the appellant never briefed. the appellant didn't even show up at the hearing. this ordinance also provides an established briefing schedule so the appellant must provide the arguments, the substantial evidence at the beginning of the appeal process. planning staff has an opportunity to respond in a timely way before the hearing so that that will be a surprise aloe limb nayedth. i urge your support and i urge you also to rely on your staff to respond to some of these particular comments that have been made which i think are simply -- >> excuse me, your time is up. good afternoon. my name is angela armstrong and i am here on behalf of the hunters point art gallery and culture center located in bayview hunters point. we've been in existence for over four years.
we totally reject leaner legislation. thank you. sue hester. i think i've probably done more c-e-q-a work before this commission in the city than anybody. and i was going to just sit this hearing. what mr. vettle said provoked me to come up. if the planning department, if supervisor wiener had gone about this really correctly, they would have solicited comments by everyone who is responding because they were surprised. this is not the way to do legislation. i have my own list of c-e-q-a improvements and therefore a few that i want.
but i wasn't asked by scott wiener. i wasn't asked by by bill wyco. i wasn't asked by anybody. and i get every notice that you conceivably have. in a lawsuit settlement, back in the '80s, i insisted that i get cad ex he's. i'm the only person that gets them and i read them. * i am not the cad ex a stamp on the back of a permit. but if they issue them, you will find me on that list because of a lawsuit settlement that should not have to come to this point. i know because i get the notices that no one else gets what i get. i spread the word as effectively as it is when i get notices.
this is not the right way to do it. go back, supervisor. go back, staff, and have a real outreach process. i would be more than glad to participate in a real outreach process about amended c-e-q-a. i know [speaker not understood] because i lived them. but this is a wrong process. the fact that developers attorneys are happy probably means that they were consulted. who was the consultation with? between a mr. wyco said he didn't have any e-mails. i asked for his e-mails. he doesant have any. maybe he didn't talk to anybody, but i didn't ask for scott wiener's e-mails. but someone should. who is he talking to? say no. >> thank you.
good afternoon. my name is robert woods. i'm with the black human rights leadership council for san francisco. what you're looking at here is a pocketbook issue. you've got developers who don't care whether you lived in a hell hole or what. it's only what they want. let me tell you this. i worked several years for san francisco planning department back in the '70s. you look at this type of issue where it's coming from a supervisor or someone else who is feeding into your system to change your system. he is not motivated by his own
thought. he is motivated by what coalition he can build in the neighborhood the next project working towards. you have to understand the system because you're a part of that system. you have to say no to this type of thing. blind siding this neighborhood is not the way to travel. these people pay your salary. they pay -- maybe not your salary, but they pay the system's salary. so, i think what you need to do is start taking care of that kind of business that will give the community more say so instead of someone sitting in high places developing policies to ram it down the community's throat. thank you. vote no. >> thank you.
good evening, commissioners. my name is vernel hawkins. [speaker not understood]. there's about 12 million people standing behind me, okay. now, what i'm going to say to you is this basically. what you heard from everybody just about two-thirds of have been against this because it's wrong. it's just wrong. let's get to the gist of it. people have a right to disgrape with something and a due process to do it in. don't take that away because when you take away some of what you're doing now because you will answer. thank you. good afternoon, commissioners. my name is judith hoyam and i know you've heard a lot of testimony and you've also